About Kaitlin Cone
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Do you remember where you were when you read the first Harry Potter book? When you got sorted by the Sorting Hat? How you felt about belonging to either Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, or Hufflepuff? After the books were read, we watched the films, some of us might have been lucky enough to visit the Wizarding World, and there are still several of us who have debates, play the video games, and make fan art inspired by Harry Potter.
I was older by the time I read the series, and five of the films had already come out. I remember getting sorted into Hufflepuff and feeling surprise and delight that I was in such a warm, welcoming House. Black and Gold are the colors for Hufflepuff, and a badger is their emblem — a fierce, loyal, tough creature with plenty of backbone.
I’ve got several Hufflepuff t-shirts, a Harry Potter bracelet, a wand, and various items that show my House pride. But I don’t have this adorable keychain scarf, so that’s next on my craft list. It’s a simple crochet (using only two stitches, chain and single crochet), takes a few minutes, and at the end, you have a 4 inch scarf adorning your keychain that you can show off to friends. You might even be tasked with making some for the other houses!
To make your own House scarf, you’ll need the following materials: a 5mm crochet hook, yarn in your House colors (there’s a chart that comes with the pattern so you know which two colors to get — this is a great stash-busting project as you can use up bits of yarn that are too small to be included in bigger crochet tasks), scissors, a tapestry needle, a “D” ring (size 3/4″) and a 1″ key ring.
After you’ve amassed the list of items, you’ll crochet using the “D” ring as an anchor. This is a superb project for someone who wants to learn how to crochet with multiple colors without having to commit to a larger pattern. It’s a little tricky to get the hang of, but once you figure it out it’s fun and works up quickly. After you’re done with the main part of the scarf, you can add tassels if you wish. The tassels, since they are small, aren’t that difficult and I’d recommend adding them because it makes the scarf a bit fancier. After that, all you need to do is slip the “D” ring onto the keychain. Voila! A House scarf to show off to friends and family! These would make great gifts for the Potterheads in your life, whether they’re your friends, family members, or co-workers.
Does this Potter project sound like something you’d love to try? You can find the free pattern, along with an illustrative photo and a YouTube video of a Slytherin scarf keychain on Chaotic Desk. Also, if you loved the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them film and are looking forward to the newest addition to the Potterverse, Chaotic Desk has a free pattern for a Newt Scamander scarf keychain as well. I’d recommend bookmarking the site because there are several nerdy patterns available.
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I’ve been intimidated by clothing patterns for a long time. I’m better at smaller projects, like scarves, hats, or purses. But I’ve always wanted to try making my own sweater. Snuggling into a warm piece of clothing you made yourself sounds divine.
Searching through Pinterest, I managed to find several shrug type sweaters for crocheters that were made for beginners and those who wanted to work something up quickly over a weekend. I tried one of them with a chunky yarn and fell in love. It took me probably seven or eight hours in total, worked up fast, and though I had to modify to fit me (I have a small, wide frame), the yarn I used and the simple stitches made the sweater a stunner.
If you’re interested in starting a shrug sweater of your own, there are a few patterns I’d recommend starting with:
For free patterns, you can’t do better than the Make & Do Crew — they have two easy crochet patterns for shrugs that I loved, the Lightweight, Easy Crochet Shrug and the Dwell Chunky Crochet Shrug Sweater. The first one uses a worsted weight yarn, simple stitches, and minimum shaping to create a beautiful, casual, cozy shrug with sleeves that you’ll want to wear year round. You can do so with its mesh construction paired with a tank top, tee, or long-sleeve shirt.
The Dwell Chunky Crochet is even easier, constructed as a rectangle. No shaping, simple stitches, and works up extremely quickly with the chunky yarn. The pattern suggests using Lion Brand, which is my favorite brand to work with as it comes in an array of colors, is inexpensive, and has a soft feel to it. This big cozy sweater shrug will keep you warm on the coldest nights and is perfect for wearing to a campfire gathering or taking on a weekend camping trip.
I used Yarn Hook Needles’ Chunky Crochet Shrug pattern for my project because it didn’t have sleeves and I wanted to keep costs low on this first one. I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in Madison Mustard, Fargo Fields, Fort Lauderdale Coral, and Miami Seafoam to create a bold, beautiful shrug. I used 7 skeins (most shrugs will use around 8). The entire project cost me a little over $20, and I spent a few lovely evenings listening to an Agatha Christie novel on audiobook while I crocheted.
If you’re looking for a more sophisticated pattern and don’t mind spending a little money, I’d highly recommend the gorgeous Cocoon Cardigan from Crochet Dreamz. It uses two colors, some fancy stitches, and takes around 7 hours to make. It also fastens with a button and loop, and can be worn with jeans and a collared shirt for a casual look.
As with any clothing project, measure as you go so that you don’t end up with something much too large or too small. Check your gauge using the pattern’s recommendations prior to beginning the project and you shouldn’t have any trouble modifying as you go, if needed.
To use the free patterns I mentioned above, you can find both the Lightweight Easy Crochet Shrug and the Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater at the Make & Do Crew website. The one I made is available as a free pattern on Yarn Hook Needles. The Cocoon Shrug pattern is for sale on Crochet Dreamz.
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Everybody knows that more than likely, your first crochet project will be a scarf. It’s practical, simple, and shows off your new skill. However, after a half dozen plain crocheted scarves, you’re probably ready to try something new — something bold, something daring, but not difficult enough to make you throw it at the wall in disgust.
Enter the Puffs Mod Scarf from Left In Knots, the coolest, coziest scarf I’ve ever seen. I’m sure the colors have something to do with it, but even if you chose different colors, the stitches look so modern, so fresh, so unique, that peoples’ heads will turn and you’ll get asked where you bought this scarf. Imagine everyone’s surprise when you confess that you didn’t buy it — you made it yourself!
To make this gorgeous knockout of a scarf, you’ll need one skein of Lion Brand Scarfie Yarn — unless you want to do tassels or pom poms. If you want to add them (and I do recommend adding the tassel for even more pizzazz), you’ll need a little bit more than one skein. You’ll also need a size “I” crochet hook, scissors, and a tapestry needle. If you’re feeling fancy you can use a pom pom maker or tassel maker, or you can make them by hand yourself (I tend to forego the makers and just make tassels with the help of some cardboard).
One of the best things about this scarf, apart from its dazzling looks, is that there are very few crochet stitches you’ll need to know in order to make your own version: chain (ch), half double crochet (hdc), half double crochet 2 together (hdc2tog) and a special puff stitch. That’s it! Some very simple stitches, easy enough for a beginner to learn. The puff stitch is incredibly simple. All you need to do is yarn over (yo) 5 times in the same stitch, which means you’ll have 11 loops on your hook. Then you simply yarn over and draw one loop through all 11 stitches. Easy, right?
If you want to check your gauge, crochet 11 stitches for 8 rows in half double crochet. It should measure four inches. The end result is a 52″ (without tassels) long, 13″ wide (at the widest point) scarf that is sure to stun your friends, family, and the strangers you pass while running errands.
If you enjoy this pattern, there are several other modern scarf crochet patterns for free besides the Puffs Mod Scarf on the Left In Knots site. There’s even a special time of year, the “Seven Days of Scarfie” which is when the Lion Brand Scarfie yarn is put through its paces to determine just how versatile it is in a variety of projects. There are a few other scarf patterns I’d recommend after trying this one, including the Snow Drops and Autumn Chill scarves (both of which have links on the Puffs Mod pattern page). All the patterns are free, but if you’d like to forego the ads and support an independent artist, you can purchase an ad-free PDF pattern for a minimal fee. You can also follow Left In Knots on Facebook and Instagram.
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Though we may not realize it, there is a lot of rabbit imagery in North American and European culture. Individual bunnies like Thumper from Bambi, Peter Rabbit, The Velveteen Rabbit, Rabbit from Winnie The Pooh, The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, Judy Hopps from the film Zootopia, and the Easter Bunny make frequent appearances, but we also have things like the hare in the moon, sayings regarding rabbits, and Spain’s name, which came from travelers to Spain, who used the word “Hispania”, meaning, “Land of Rabbits”.
With all this rabbit imagery, it’s no wonder we’re so fond of the fluffy creatures. Many of us have had them as pets, enjoying their company and laughing at their antics. When you aren’t able to have live rabbits around, however, the next best thing is to make a plushie — which is where this beginner-friendly knitting pattern from Gina Michele comes in to play.
If you’ve been thinking about making your first plushie, this is a great project to start with because all you’re knitting is a simple square. It doesn’t take long, you can use any color you want, and the end result is always adorable. The free pattern also comes with several pictures to illustrate the process, a bonus for those of us who lean more toward learning with visuals.
To make your own soft, sweet bunny, gather the following materials: Size 13 knitting needles, yarn (the pattern recommends using Lion Brand’s Wool Ease Thick & Quick in a brown shade, though of course you could use grey, white, or black as well), a yarn needle, scissors, fiber fill, and either a ready-made pom pom or the materials to make your own (there is a tutorial for using a pom-pom maker if you’d rather go that way).
Once you’ve settled on a yarn color, be sure and pick complimentary colors for the eyes and nose, such as black and pink. Of course, you don’t have to stick with “normal” colors for the bunny – you can use variegated yarn, pastel colors, or bold tones if you’d prefer.
Gauge isn’t as important in this pattern, so don’t feel like you have to check your gauge prior to beginning. The only thing that needs to be done is to make sure the knit is tight enough that the fiber fill won’t poke out of the body and head. The square is knitted with 24 stitches by 24 rows, using the stockinette stitch, which means you will need to be able to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. These should all be familiar to every level of knitter.
After the square is done, there is a bit of sewing to do to shape the rabbit. The head is stuffed first, then the body, and once it is all sewn up, the pom pom can be attached as the tail. After that, you can embroider in the eyes and nose, or leave the face blank.
And there you are! A pretty little rabbit ready to make friends and cuddle. If you’d like to try out this easy beginner plushie pattern, you can find it at Gina Michele
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Do you ever feel a yearning to explore the woods at dusk? Or a desire to see the sunrise peeping through the trees? If you live anywhere near nature or enjoy taking vacations to spend time in nature, you know how lovely it can be, but also how the temperature fluctuates, how many bugs there are at certain times of the year, and just how many thorns can find your sensitive skin.
That’s why I love clothing items like this hooded cowl – it provides protection, can be removed easily, and allows one to daydream about being an elf or dwarf exploring uncharted territory. It’s a great item to have if you’re a re-enactor or a cosplayer, as it would complement a wide range of characters (depending on the color and styling of course).
If you’re looking for a simple knitted pattern, then Balls To The Wall Knits has the perfect one available for free on their website. To make your own knitted hooded cowl, you’ll need to gather the following supplies: One 16″ size 9 circular knitting needle, a set of 9 double pointed needles, a tapestry needle, scissors, a stitch marker or two, and three skeins of yarn. The pattern, which comes in sizes Small, Medium, and Large, recommends using an alpaca mix such as Lana Grossa Alta Moda. You can use about any worsted weight yarn, however. Just be sure that you have enough — though it takes just about two skeins depending on size, you don’t want to run out of yarn for the last few rows. Buy three just to be safe and maybe add some edging if you’re feeling fancy. You can also use buttons and ribbon to dress up your hood if you like.
Be sure and check your gauge beforehand, because the last thing you want is an accidental facelift when trying to squeeze the cowl around your face, or to have a hood that’s far too big and makes you look like you’re on the way to the executioner. To check your gauge, knit 18 stitches using the stockinette stitch and then measure it. It should be around four inches.
If you know how to cast, knit, knit two together, purl, wrap and turn, bind off, and do short rows, you’re all set to recreate this pattern for yourself. If you don’t know how to do one or more of these stitches, it’s worth looking up a tutorial and practicing until you’re comfortable so you don’t have to undo your project over and over again. (Most knitters, even beginner knitters, should know how to cast, knit, purl, and bind off, as these are standard stitches for every project)
Whether you’re making a hood for cosplay purposes or to take along on your next camping trip, the end result is stylish, comfortable, and just a little mysterious. Earth tones work well, but don’t be afraid to mix it up and go for a brighter color, like the yellow used for the hooded cloak in The Village.
Want to make this Friend Of The Forest Knitted Hooded Cowl? You can find all three pattern sizes (all free) with pictures and a materials list on the Balls To The Walls Knits website.
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I always get really excited when I find knee highs. There’s something about long socks that makes me feel fancier — and they keep you warmer, especially if they’re under jeans. Cold jeans are the worst. It has been more difficult to find thick, comfy knee highs of late, but I discovered the other day that there are quite a few free crochet patterns for knee highs, which is great since I don’t knit often and find the thought of using four or six needles at a time quite intimidating.
The Lavender Chair’s knee high socks not only look comfortable, but they are stylish as well — I would want to show them off with a fun skirt or a pair of shorts in the springtime. Whether you’re looking to make some delicate knee highs for a special occasion or a pair of rugged knee highs for mountain wear, this pattern is easy to customize with various yarns and stitches.
If you’re a beginner crocheter, this might be a little difficult, but it’s worth a shot. Just remember to read the entire pattern beforehand, learn whatever stitches you didn’t know before (or practice the ones you don’t have much practice with), and go slowly. The pattern says it’s for intermediate crocheters, but you’ll never get past beginner status if you stick with beginner projects. So if you’re new to crochet and still want to dive in, I say go for it. The pattern has several sizes available, so you might want to write out the changes if you’re going up a size.
You’ll need to gather some supplies, including worsted weight yarn, a size “I” crochet hook, scissors, and a tapestry needle. If you want to check the gauge, crochet 8 half double crochet stitches and check to make sure it measures 2 inches. As far as stitches go, you’ll need to know the following: chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), half double crochet (hdc), chain space (ch sp), decrease (dec), and v-stitch.
There are various sections of the sock that you will need to pay close attention to, such as the heel, cuff, and toe. As long as you’ve read the pattern over beforehand and are willing to slow down if it gets confusing, you will be able to make these stunning socks. The finished product would make an excellent gift for friends or family. Depending on how comfortable you are with the pattern you could also re-size it to make presents for children.
If you’re making these for the first time it might be wise to stick to a single color, but of course when you get more comfortable with the pattern you may want to branch out and explore options like adding ribbon, buttons, and lace, or various colors.
Do these look like they belong in your wardrobe? Do you know someone that loves a good pair of knee highs? Then you’ll want to make sure you have ready access to the free Valerie’s Knee High Crochet Socks pattern from The Lavender Chair. You can also sign up for her newsletter for access to hundreds of free crochet patterns.
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If you live anywhere near cold weather, you know the unpleasant feeling of slipping into a cold seat. No matter how many layers you have on, your back gets chilly, your legs get clammy, and your whole body tenses at the cold. Little children may not realize how cold they are, but the rest of us are very aware of just how much heat we’re losing. Luckily, at least for the kids, there’s another option — the car seat cloak (though you may want to adapt this pattern and make one for yourself). Sure, it’s one more layer, but it’s a thick, cozy, layer that will protect your little ones from the chill while you wait for the car to warm up.
The Car Seat Cloak is a free crochet pattern that you can save to your queues on Ravelry and Pinterest, but there is also an ad-free version available for $2.00 (USD). You can also follow Left In Knots on her website, Facebook page, Pinterest, and Instagram. If you love free crochet patterns, then you should definitely add her links to your bookmarks. You can also sign up to receive her free newsletter if you’d rather get free patterns sent to your inbox.
What’s so nice about the cloak is that it can be used with a toddler-size carseat. Toddlers aren’t supposed to wear thick jackets in car seats because of safety hazards, which leaves these little ones cold in the wintertime. With the car seat cloak, you can slip it over them and the car seat and avoid getting the chills. (Of course, you could buy a car seat cloak, but where the fun in that when you can customize it with your child’s favorite colors?)
To make your own car seat cloak, you’ll need eight skeins of yarn (the pattern suggests using something like Vanna’s Choice), a size “H” crochet hook, scissors, and a tapestry needle. If you want to follow the pattern exactly you’ll need six skeins of yarn in one color and one in each of the other two colors, but of course you can mix it up and do an ombre, chevron, or one color cloak as well.
This pattern is excellent for beginner crocheters, as the only stitches required are the magic ring, chain (ch), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), slip stitch (sl st), and reverse single crochet (rsc) — also known as the crab stitch. If you’re concerned about the gauge, you can check it by crocheting 14 half double crochet stitches for 10 rows and then measuring it — it should equal about 4 square inches.
If you want to make these to sell, you can do so but you must link back to the original pattern and give credit to the designer. Is this something your little one needs to keep warm in the winter? Or do you want to make one for yourself (there are notes on how to do this in the pattern)? You can find the original free crochet pattern with video links to tutorials (for the magic ring, for instance), as well as a link to the PDF for sale, at Left In Knots.
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When “super scarves” started becoming a thing I got excited. There’s nothing cozier than a huge scarf that you can wrap half your body in while running errands or playing outside in the snow. What makes these scarves even better is when they include animals in the design, and I don’t think there has been a more popular animal in the last couple decades than the owl. Whether it’s due to the Harry Potter series, the Pinterest hipsters, or propaganda from the owl community itself, I’m thrilled that people continue to incorporate these wise birds into wearable designs.
While some of us may glance longingly at the complicated patterns we’ve found on Pinterest, the free pattern from Repeat Crafter Me is great for those of us who aren’t quite comfortable with the “advanced” label but have progressed beyond “beginner”. So if you’re in the intermediate area of crochet, like myself, this should be easy enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed, but challenging enough that you feel really proud of yourself once it’s done!
In order to make your own Crochet Owl Super Scarf, you’ll need 9-10 skeins of yarn (the pattern suggests using Bernat Softee Chunky in a variety of colors). If you want to go subtle you can use shades of the same color, but if you want to go bold, I highly recommend using the suggested colors or at least choosing a bright color for the body of the scarf.
Apart from crochet you’ll also be sewing the two sides of the scarf together and making pom-poms for the owls’ feet. If you haven’t made pom-poms, there is a handy video tutorial available on the pattern page. For the crochet sections, you’ll need to know the following stitches: Magic Ring, chain (ch), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), slip stitch (sl st), chain space (ch sp), half double crochet (hdc), and v-stitch. You’ll also need to know the mattress stitch to use when sewing the owl together and joining the scarf halves.
If you are unfamiliar with the mattress stitch, or need some reminders about various stitches, YouTube and Pinterest are super helpful in this regard. Just remember to save the pins you used so you can reference them later for other projects.
Once you’re done with the owl scarf, be sure and show it off! It makes a fabulous gift for an owl-lover in your life, whether they’re a parent, grandparent, kid, cousin, or sibling (or yourself). If you end up using this pattern, Repeat Crafter Me wants to see it — tag @RepeatCrafterMe and @Yarnspirations in your Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest posts.
Are super scarves your new thing? Then you’ll definitely want to check out the Super Scarf Guide, which has new free patterns, tutorials, and more(Check back here soon because we’ll be posting about a bunch of free animal super scarf crochet patterns to make and share). You can sign up for access on the Repeat Crafter Me site. First things first, though. You can find the free pattern for this Owl Super Scarf, along with plenty of photos and a video tutorial on the Repeat Crafter Me site. You can also share it and print out the pattern using the links at the bottom of the page.
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Making your own clothing can be intimidating. I remember spending several hours sewing, knitting, and crocheting only to be extremely frustrated that my skills didn’t match my ambitions. I tried to make dresses, skirts, and pajamas for myself and realized I needed to dial it back and stick with hats, scarves, and socks. However, I’ve never given up hope that one day I’ll be able to make my own sweater, and with this free pattern from the Make & Do Crew, I just might be able to pull it off. Or shrug it on.
While the Make & Do Crew recommend the Lionbrand “Jeans” yarn, you can use any medium weight yarn for this sweater shrug. You’ll need 5-7 skeins (depending on sizing), and if you want you can switch up the colors for an ombre effect, choose two colors for contrast, or make the whole thing in one color. The other materials you’ll want to gather for the project are a size “I” crochet hook, stitch markers, a tapestry needle, and scissors.
If you’re still concerned about being a beginner and starting what looks like an ambitious project, let me put your mind at ease. There are no complicated stitch patterns to learn. All the terminology you need to know are chain (ch), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), double crochet in back loop only (dc in blo), skip (sk), space (sp), chain 1 space (ch 1 sp), right side (RS), wrong side (WS), turning chain (tch), repeat (rep), main color (mc), and accent color (ac). With only four stitches to know (all of which are common in beginner patterns) and self-explanatory terminology, this project practically makes itself.
You will want to check the gauge, however, since you’ll be wearing this shrug once it’s completed. For eight rows of double crochet, it should measure four inches. It’s also a good idea to check as you go that it will fit the way you want it to. Alterations can always be made as you progress, but rarely once the project is complete.
If you are making this for someone else (a friend, a sibling, a parent, etc.), you might need to take their measurements beforehand to ensure the perfect fit. The nice thing about this shrug is that it can be made to fit anybody. The original sizes are S/M and L/XL, but there are notes in the pattern that allow for customization, including the width and length of the shrug.
There is some sewing, as the shrug is joined by seaming the body and sleeves together. If you are not familiar with the stitch used in this project (the mattress stitch), there is a link provided that will show you how to complete this part of the pattern. Take it slow, practice a little beforehand if you’re unfamiliar with this technique, and don’t worry about it too much, as it isn’t the showy part of the shrug.
If you decide that you enjoy making sweaters, there are several other free patterns available from the Make & Do Crew as well, including the The Dwell Sweater, the Navajo Shrug, and the Campfire Cardigan, all of which have links on the free pattern page. You can find the original free Lightweight + Easy Crochet Shrug Pattern on the Make & Do Crew’s site.
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Yesterday I was at the store ostensibly to purchase felt and thread when I spied the yarn aisle and had to take a stroll and feel all the beautiful yarn. I of course had to purchase two skeins of soft yarn in navy and gold, and though I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, I knew I wanted to make something cozy for winter. When I got home I looked on Pinterest for ideas and found these beautiful hand warmers. They’re beautiful, warm, and small enough that I can probably make them in a few hours. I’m planning to sit by the fire and listen to an Agatha Christie audiobook while I crochet.
With something like these hand warmers, there are a myriad of free patterns available, but what drew me to this particular pattern was the simplicity of the pattern and the fun added touch of the buttons. They’re soft, elegant, and will go with anything I wear when I have to duck out for some soup ingredients. This is a great pattern for beginners, and if it’s a pattern you enjoy, you can make several pair of hand warmers in very little time. They would make great stocking stuffers for Christmas, or a lovely present for teachers, co-workers, grandparents, parents, kids, and neighbors (the pattern comes in sizes from baby to adult).
Slugs On The Refrigerator’s pattern for these hand warmers was part of their Crochet Camp program, and if you want more patterns from them, I recommend bookmarking the site and checking back often. This particular pattern is available as a free PDF, and has plenty of pictures to illustrate the puff stitch used in a major portion of the pattern. If you haven’t tried puff stitch yet, try it out before attempting the hand warmers. It’s a great stitch to learn and one of my favorites, but it did take a little time for me to master.
Making a pair of these handwarmers requires some DK weight yarn (the pattern suggests using wool), a 4mm crochet hook, 2 buttons (1 cm diameter), and some scissors. The only stitches you need to know are the chain (ch), single crochet (sc), slip stitch (sl st), and puff stitch. Yarn over and chain space are also used in this pattern.
With only 9 rounds for the hand and 3 for the wrist, this project won’t take very long, especially after you get the hang of the puff stitch. You’ll be creating a loop for the buttons near the end, and once you’re finished with the crocheting you can weave in the ends and attach the buttons. Experiment with different types of yarn (wool can be a bit scratchy, but some others will not be as warm), various colors (variegated yarn vs royal tones or pastels), and buttons (toggles, wooden buttons, square buttons, etc.). Each pair of handwarmers can be unique and special to the wearer whether you’re making a pair of these handwarmers for yourself or a few pair for the family.
If you’d like to make these cozy crocheted handwarmers, you can find a link to the free PDF on Slugs On The Refrigerator.
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